We've been in Vietnam for just over two weeks now, and I'm starting to think that it might kill me.
Lately I've been fantasizing about the CVS near my parents' house. I picture the exact corner where it sits only a 4 minute drive from my childhood home in the suburbs of Atlanta. I imagine driving my car- actually driving... on the right side of the road- and turning into the parking lot. How I would park in between those neat white lined spaces and how the automatic doors would sweep apart as I approached.
The benefits of long-term travel are well covered by bloggers all over the Internet. Freedom of time, adventure, the chance to see incredible things all over the world, never having to read e-mails from your boss. But what about the downsides? What do you have to give up when you take a trip like this?
One of the biggest reasons I knew I could do this trip was that breakup in 2010. Despite all of the pain and discomfort, I proved to myself I could do hard things. I showed myself how capable I was after having the rug pulled out from under me, with almost no friends, nowhere to live and virtually no possessions. I was okay. I survived.
My life is so entirely different than it was just two months ago. After backpacking through Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, I feel like I've settled into a much simpler lifestyle, one that, despite its many annoyances, is now filling me with a lot of satisfaction. Here are just a few everyday things that are different than my life back home.
This past week (well actually 10 days to be exact), I was alone in another country for the first time ever! I spent the time in Lima, Peru's capital city, in a beautiful and modern district called Miraflores. I rented a private room in a hostel and had access to a kitchen to cook some of my meals. Here are a few things I did to get outside of my comfort zone:
I’ve had better days.
Today I had to tell my boss that I’m leaving my job. It sucked.
I’ve been at my job for 2.5 years and got promoted in April, which was great. Since then I’ve had more responsibility and stress but also a lot more freedom and sense of ownership of my work. It was a good transition. Now though, just 8 months later, I had to tell my boss, “Thanks but no thanks! Keep your big fancy paycheck!” It didn’t go exactly like that.